Want to know how far the sport of boxing has fallen over the last decade?
Mark Wahlberg from The Fighter is the first “boxer” to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated since 2007 (Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather) and just the third since 1999.
Inside, SI names The Fighter as the best sports movie of the decade, beating out The Wrestler, Million Dollar Baby and The Blind Side.
“None of those films makes you care for its protagonists like The Fighter,” said SI writer Pablo S. Torre. “None of them has a performance as transcendent as Christian Bale’s playing Dicky Eklund, [Micky] Ward’s half-brother and on-again-off-again trainer, and the star of an HBO documentary on crack addiction. And none of them treats its subject matter – in this case, ’90s-era boxing in Lowell, Mass. – so authentically and with so little pretension.”